‘Has the Prozac bubble finally burst?’ asks this week’s New Scientist mag. The article reports findings that antidepressants seem to offer no more than a placebo effect, except in the most severely depressed people. And those severely depressed people respond less to placebos, not more to the drugs. Reports of subjects’ happiness have been greatly… Continue reading Is that Prozac in your pocket or do you just THINK you’re happy to see me?
‘How long till the bus gets here?’ ‘Should I walk instead?’ ‘Maybe it’s just around the corner and then I’ll miss it.’ ‘But if it’s not around the corner then how long till it gets here?’ If such Shakespearean dilemmas plaque your daily commute, you’ll be relieved to know there’s now a definitive, mathematically sanctioned… Continue reading Happiness Life Strategy: How to be happy while waiting for the bus
No matter what your personality make-up, you can make choices that bring you greater happiness. You just have to understand the pros and cons of your personality traits. In Happiness Strategy 12: Make peace with your personality we learned the ‘Big-Five’ dimensions of personality are extraversion, agreeableness, conscientiousness, openness and neuroticism and we saw that… Continue reading Happiness Life Strategy: Know your personality
Relationships are important to happiness, so nurturing your social skills would seem a pretty wise happiness strategy. Now, is that something you can get from a book? Well, yes and no – it depends on the book. It may surprise you that research shows people panache is more polished in readers of Pride and Prejudice… Continue reading Happiness Life Strategy: Enjoy your stories, make friends & influence people
I still haven’t gotten over the demise of Borat and Ali G, two characters who brought me great, chunky wads of happiness. But I think it’s time to mark their passing with a little blog vigil. Two of my passions are science and technology, so this clip where ‘Ali G talks to some geezers about… Continue reading Not happy to say goodbye: Ali G on science & ‘techmology’
Are your chocolate indulgences tarnished by fears of cholesterol, cavities, pimples and fat? Well fret no more, chocoholic chums – a recent SparkPeople article has set about busting these and other chocolate-coated myths. Now before you install chocolate at the base of your personal food pyramid, take note: the quantities you can savor before the… Continue reading Happiness Life Strategy: Enjoy (a little) chocolate, guilt free!
A new study, reported last month in the media and about to appear in the journal Brain, Behavior, and Immunity, looked at the way our bodies produce antibodies in response to infection. (Flu vaccines were used as a proxy for pathogens because the body’s response is similar for the purposes of the study.) Not everybody… Continue reading Happiness Life Strategy: Self-reflection each day keeps the flu bugs away
In the New York magazine article Happiness: A User’s Manual, Ben Mathis-Lilley takes a bunch of happiness research findings and translates them into 20 useful tips for New Yorkers. The result is fun, and a cute reminder of those findings about happiness – some of which may be familiar to Happiness Strategies readers via 101… Continue reading Happiness, New York style
In last Monday’s Yorkshire Post Maggie Stratton asked the question: In a society obsessed by material gain, should schools be teaching our children the true meaning of happiness? Her answer draws on the advice of two education experts who believe it’s time to get very serious about happiness at school. Alas, say Smith and Jones,… Continue reading Happiness and childhood: do we need happier classrooms?
Last week I mentioned a study pointing to the psychological benefits of creative pursuits. Now, for the readers among us, there’s more good news. This month The Guardian reported the use of experimental reading groups as a form of therapy. ‘Bibliotherapy’ is being tried across a range of problems – including anxiety and depressive disorders,… Continue reading The joy of text: Choosing prose over Prozac for happiness therapy